Archive for September, 2011

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Meet Lisa

As a seasoned mom and a business owner that caters and interacts with other moms, it never ceases to amaze me the amazing women I run across.  With the new Sarah Jessica Parker movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, it got me thinking, JAK should introduce you to some local super moms, and give them a platform to “chat” about themselves and what’s on their mind.  Read More….

My name is Lisa Wadin and I am an at home wife and mother of two daughters, in 7th and 4th grade, here in the wonderful village of Bristol.
One of the many hats I wear is that of our grade school’s PTA President. This Saturday afternoon we are having our annual walk-a-thon to raise the funds we need for our children for the year, and it got me to thinking about all the wonderful people we have had donate things and volunteer their time and those who don’t think they have time to donate.
We have two main “quotes” with our PTA. One is “every child. one voice” and the other is “Give 1 hour a month. 10 hours in a school year”. For those of you who work FT and think there’s no way you can add just one more thing, it’s not as hard as you think.
Do you have 1 hour each month? 15 minutes each week that you can give? Can you make up a flyer for an event, in-between checking your Facebook, that another Mom could take to school and stuff mailboxes with? Could you make phone calls while watching your kids at soccer practice? Send e-mails for a PTA chair? What about picking up some things that are needed at a store you were on your way to anyway? So many options and they don’t just apply to school. Your church, your community, 4H, Scouts…all of these places and things depend on volunteers and every little thing adds up to a whole lot of excellence!
Back to the example of school: 15 minutes a week…1 hour a month…10 hours in a school year. It can be done…all you have do to is ask. Thanks and I hope to share with you again soon!


Here is the fruit of Lisa’s labor, literally and figuratively.  Pictured below are her two daughters…

I thought I’d add the other hats that Lisa wears: she is the Chairman and Secretary of the  the annual Bristol Progress Days Parade;  she is a softball and t-ball coach; she helps with Girl Scouts for one troop and is the Leader of another; she is a Sunday School teacher; Lisa works with Cloverbuds for 4H;  and in addition to her being the President of the PTA, she chairs many committees inside PTA like Babysitting Night.

How does she do it all?
Good question!  Just grateful she does.

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One Day on State & Main

Please DON’T Put Your Kids First

There are so many national awareness days, weeks, and months it could make your head spin.  I suppose it’s a good thing that you designate a time frame to focus on, promote, encourage practicing, whatever it may be.  But there is one thing you would think “instinctively” parents would consider, prioritize and put into practice every living, breathing, conscious moment of their lives… and that is the safety and well-being of their children (babies on up)!

September is National Baby Safety Month. Did you know that?  Apparently, these two presumed parents didn’t… Read More…

It really could have happened anywhere in our area, I just happened to be driving in downtown Racine, and the events happened back to back, within a couple of blocks of each other.  Both just made my blood boil.  I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed.

Yeah, I know, the design of strollers puts the baby out in front of the pushing party.  You can’t help it.  But my goodness, you certainly don’t have to pull bonehead moves and think traffic is just going to stop because you need to cross the road (mind you, not even in a designated crosswalk) with your kids in tow (which was the case with the second party…one stroller, multiple small children following behind).  Yes, I know, you’ve seen it too.

It is one thing to risk your life, but to risk the life of your little one(s) and push that stroller into harms way?  It’s just unconscionable.  If it was just a mistake in judgment, I think I would’ve been able to tell.  No, that was not the case.  There was persistence in their effort that they both needed to get across that street, and by golly, this is where it’s going to take place, like it or not, cars.

So what do you do other than drop your jaw in disbelief? Perhaps cuss out loud to yourself and pray for the safety of those poor, innocent kids.  Augh!

I know I am probably preaching to the choir here.  You’re here because you care about the safety and well-being of (your) kids, not just in September, but sensibly ongoing….and I thank you.  Your children thank you.  Society thanks you.  Please multiply yourselves.  We need more of you!


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Missing Out

I’ll Have An Order of Whine, Please
Just Add Kids welcomes Toby Mueller, a Raymond dad, as JAK’s guest blogger

I was out a local store this past week with my youngest daughter. My oldest has just started school so I was enjoying the 50% reduction in my tolerance and alertness for certain attitudes when both of the girls are together. It is much eaisier to contain one rather than two.

My daughter was being quite loud and talkative for such an early hour (it was about 8:30) and clerk at the checkout noticed. Now, I do not know this person or what type of parent she is, but she made a comment that made me think. A lot! Read More...I said to my daughter, with clerk overhearing, something like, “Wow, for getting up just a short time ago, you are really loud.” The clerk then said, “My kids were like that too and I don’t miss that at all.”

Now, at first, that may not seem like a big deal. But, if you are honest with yourself and think about it, it is a big deal.

Kids need parents that don’t miss those things in their life. The loudness, the teaching times, the “I am crying because I am tired” times. As parents, we need to go through those times to bond and remember. And likewise, parents need to miss and long for those things as the kids move on to start their lives.

I admit that I don’t like some of those times at the time I am going through them. But, when I look back at pictures or when I review my day, I will miss those times when my daughter and I are not together. So take the time not to miss out on those times in life.

About Toby: In addition to joining the Just Add Kids community as a guest blogger and JAK dads group administrator, Toby is a Stay At Home Dad (SAHD) raising two daughters and frequent contributor on the Caledonia Patch website.  You can catch the above commentary and more of his insights here:

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Blue Skies

Gray Days

Remembering it, like it was yesterday. Yes, I am talking about September 11, 2001.

It was a beautiful clear crisp Tuesday morning.  I was getting ready for work.  In the bathroom.  Listening to the radio.
The news at the top of the hour (8am) reports that a plane (probably a small passenger plane) crashed into the World Trade Center tower in New York.

Curious, I walked into the living room, to see if they had anything about it on the Today Show, which was on the TV.  I watched then as the second plane hit the other tower.

The events of the day endlessly seemed to unfold, and the knees beneath me, continued to weaken.  I will never forget the feelings of uncertainty and insecurity.  Me…pregnant with my third child. Read More…

My husband was making his daily trek,  dropping off our 1st grader and pre-schooler at their school.  The anticipation of him walking in the door seemed to last forever. I needed him to join me, standing there in awe in front of the TV.  Frozen…what do you do?

My office was in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel building in Sturtevant at the time.  Kinda a quiet little place.  Few reporters, distribution people, and me.  I am sure, even our quaint newsroom would be “a buzz” today.  I get there…there is NO ONE there.  I connect with my boss in Milwaukee.  We were all numb.  How do you work when your world is under attack?  Do I go pick my kids up at school?

Crash after crash, it was more than I could process physically by myself.  This beautiful day, was nothing but gray….the smoke, the ashes, the future.  The blue skies were eerily peaceful.  I would probably freak out if I saw a plane.  Your family, friends, safety and the horror we all were experiencing with the devastating events…was all you thought about.  And now, in a few months, I would be bringing another precious child into this world of uncertainty.

CNN was on continuously for days.  Reports from New York, Washington, and the middle east all day and night.  I was soon captivated by CNN chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour’s reports in the middle east: terrorism, bin Laden and al-Qaeda .  Topics that I probably never paid any attention to, if I even ever heard of before, was catapulted to the forefront of the news, lunch discussions, and my thoughts.

Ten years ago seems just like yesterday to me, though I don’t get nervous when a commercial airline flies overhead.  I don’t, however, enjoy flying.  I am suspicious of passengers for some reason, I don’t seem to trust.  Time has quickly slipped us back into our day to day, though I know, just like me, you haven’t forgotten.  I have a daily reminder, my daughter, Christiane, born 6 months later.

In honor and remembrance of the 9/11 victims and their families.

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The Rearview Mirror

Looking BACK to School 

Another first day of school under my belt.  In fact it is my 10th anniversary of  the “First Day of School”.  I have four kids.  They are all school aged ranging from 2nd grade through 11th grade.

Last year was pretty eventful for half of my kids. We had moved my younger two kids from their previous private Christian school, to what I know now to be, an excellent public elementary magnet school. More than anything, they were thrilled to ride the school bus.  I, admittedly too, was (thrilled).  This year, back to the bus stop, back to the routine.  Easy transition.

The big transition this school year, has fallen into the laps of my teen girls, my high schooler’s. Read More…

This year, now it’s their turn to “go public”.   Public school,  that is.  Now this isn’t intended to be a private vs. public school commentary.  It is what it is.  As I said, this is my eleventh school year as a mom.  I have a freshman daughter who chose to go to Horlick High School after 11 years (counting 2 in preschool) of Catholic schooling.  My other daughter, now a junior, not a choice (to move to Horlick).  Let’s clarify, those choices came when she was attending St. Catherine’s, and with those choices came consequences…..and here we are!

We had some challenges this summer as this day, the first day of school, approached.  I feared for the worse with the latter daughter, who was determined NEVER to step foot into THAT school.  Without spending any further time elaborating on that, I can only tell you, it was nothing short of divine intervention that spontaneously changed her attitude.  (and, no, it isn’t some cute dude) She went without hesitation.  Thankfully, she’s carpooling with a friend, which I am sure helped ease her onto the campus. Upon her arrival home today, she quipped “I smelled pot for the first time, mom”.  Not sure if that is a good thing, or a bad thing.  Hmmmm.

Surprisingly, my emotions focused on my freshman daughter.  I could tell her nerves started to quietly ramp up yesterday.  Her mind, I imagine, immersed in the thought of over-crowded classrooms and hallways, thugs, and hardly knowing anyone.  Hate to say it, much of what was put there, was done so by the people who know it best:  some of the teachers we had met, guidance personnel, other students.

Today was to be her first day riding the school bus.  Rather, she asked that I drop her off.  Why not? We’ve dropped her off many a days for the last eleven years, plus, I can capture this memorable event with a picture.  Yeah, first day of school in high school is a bit different than elementary school.  I could count on two fingers how many parents I saw actively with their child on campus.  Car traffic was quickly ushered in.  C’mon people, the administrator said with his facial expressions and actions.  Traffic flow in the Horlick parking lot has drastically changed.  It was a swift drop off which afforded me a lamo picture of her getting out of the passenger side of the car.  Sad, that we couldn’t relish in this monumental event together, but the traffic had to keep moving, keep moving.  I decided to pull over and watched her walk into the building, through my rear view mirror….There she was, my baby, all big and entering into the  high school building.  My eyes well up as I type, as they did in my lonely car this morning.

How does time just move so fast?  Really, I am ready for it to slow down.  Today, is one of those reminders that you have to live each day to it’s fullest because before you know it, your baby is going to be grown up.  Take note and enjoy the “un”events of today.

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